Anti-Taliban forces train in Panjshir Valley: A challenge for the Taliban in Afghanistan

Afghan resistance movement and anti-Taliban uprising forces took part in a military training in Panjshir province on August 30, 2021. See pictures here: 

Afghan resistance movement

Afghan resistance movement and anti-Taliban uprising forces took part in military training in Panjshir province on August 30, 2021, as they have vowed to continue their fight against the Taliban. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Military training in Panjshir province

Some members of the anti-Taliban forces were seen in photos taking part in rigorous military training with logs of wood over their back. Some were seen carrying weapons, such as rifles. 

(Photograph:AFP)

What's next after the US left?

Following the withdrawal of the last US troops, marking the end of a 20-year war that left the Islamist group stronger than it was in 2001, the future of the country remains uncertain with members of the Taliban spotted wielding guns and roaming the streets. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Clashes in Panjshir Valley

Soon after the US left, some reports have stated that Taliban forces clashed with militia fighters in the Panjshir Valley north of the Afghan capital Kabul. 

(Photograph:AFP)

'...never surrender but open to negotiations'

However, the leader of a resistance movement to the Taliban had earlier said to never surrender but is open to negotiations with the new rulers of Afghanistan, according to an interview published by Paris Match on Wednesday (August 25). 

(Photograph:AFP)

Ahmad Massoud on resistance forces

Ahmad Massoud, the son of legendary Afghan rebel commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, retreated to his native Panjshir Valley along with former vice-president Amrullah Saleh. 

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National Resistance Front

Massoud earlier claimed that "thousands" of men were joining his National Resistance Front in Panjshir Valley, which was never captured by invading Soviet forces in 1979 or the Taliban during their first period in power from 1996-2001. 

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'We can talk. In all wars, there are talks'

Massoud added that he was open to talking to the Taliban and he laid out the outlines of a possible agreement. "We can talk. In all wars, there are talks. And my father always spoke with his enemies," he said. 

"Let's imagine that the Taliban agreed to respect the rights of women, of minorities, democracy, the principles of an open society," he added.

"Why not try to explain that these principals would benefit all Afghans, including them?

(Photograph:AFP)

Lack of trust in Taliban

There is widespread suspicion about the Taliban among Afghans, and for good reason. The last time the group was in power from 1996 to 2001, it imposed a harsh interpretation of Islamic law. They banned women from education and public spaces, brutally executed political opponents and massacred religious and ethnic minorities such as the Hazaras.

(Photograph:AFP)

What's the future of anti-Taliban uprising forces?

The Taliban have promised a softer system this time around, including rights for women. They have also pledged an inclusive government, holding talks with a variety of movers and shakers in Afghan politics -- including former US-backed president Hamid Karzai. They have even sent representatives to the Shiite Hazara minority, which suffered brutal violence at the hands of the Taliban in the 1990s.

But, still, there's no certainty. 

And the world will also watch the future of anti-Taliban uprising forces. 

(Photograph:AFP)

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